on May 9, 2012
The predecessor, the Sony TD10, had a stereo base of 30mm, which is already on the low end for producing a clear 3D effect.
Sony managed to reduce this down to 20mm in the TD20, which means you will have a 3D effect exclusively on close-ups. Not on material with normal to far distances to the camcorder.
If you do not mind the bigger exterior, the Sony TD10 is the BETTER buy for 3D filming.
on June 25, 2012
(Pardon my English grammer, because I never studied English at school and my mother tongue is not English either but just love the language)
I studied about this camera for two months on the web and finally played with it at local Best Buy and bought it for 1169 dollars on a web price match and it worked. I have used it now for two weeks filming historic places, flowers, birds and my son playing soccer. I have also purchased the Best Buy 209 dollars ADW for 3 years for peace of mind because the LORD's rains fall on all humanity equally.
Also objects close to see its real 3D effects on the 160" of screen with Optoma 3D Projector (with 3D converter 3D-XL) and I have to tell you that what my family and I saw was amazing. Almost as equal with the quality of Hugo (the movie) clarity.
I used 3DXL connected with the provided mini hdmi and the camera communication set to SBS (not the 3DXL but on camera itself) and watch it diectly from the camera to the projector in amazing 3D.
I also took footage of turtle under the water from above the lake in the local park) and it was just amazing.
I know some says the 20mm (this one) with the 30mm the TD10, I have to say that actually even with the 20mm, this one beats the TD10 in many respects including the finish of the the HD quality both in 2D and 3D.
I am a professional and this camera is not a professional camera but it is still a professional in the price and quality that this product brings.
I have a bi-weekly TV show (live gospel and teaching) and the studio takes care of that part with BIG BOYS but for my pre-edited TV programs, I am impressed enough to switch from my faithful 8 years old Sony DCR-VX2100 to this new blessing.
I downloaded the Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11 (Trial) from Sony's website and edited and recorded my first Blu-Ray with LG-BE12 and the results were wonderful. Now I am going to order the Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11 Visual Effects Suite from Amazon for only 53.50 (compared with 194.95 from Sony's website) and praise the LORD for the provision!!!
With the price and quality that I have experienced, this is worth.
Thank you so much.
on August 5, 2014
If yo enjoy 3D, this is the camcorder for you. Lots of manual settings for those difficult scenes. Also takes great still images, but I think Sony missed the mark by not including 3D still images. The most disappointing issue is creating a 3D Bluray. Apparently, Bluray 3D is only 24fps and this camcorder shoot 29.97fps only in USA. With 3:2 pull down in all video editors, causes panning to be jerky. Sony should have included a 24fps mode. The camcorder's native format is fairly new and not many Bluray players will play it without conversion. I'll have to buy a Sony player that supports this format.
on December 9, 2012
I bought this purely as part of my hobby in 3d photography and filmmakers. I assume many people will be interested in it also as a general camcorder, for which it's pretty slick:
- a nice zoom range
- decent touch interface (if a little dated-feeling)
- good stabilization
But as a 3d enthusiast, I have some serious gripes, even after just a few days.
- The 3d is recorded in a format that I've had trouble finding support for.
- The camera advertises that it can shoot stills, and it can shoot stereo video. But it CANNOT shoot stereo stills. HUH?? You'd think that all of the hardware and software is there to do this, and yet they quietly reveal (in the thick instruction manual only) that 3d stills are not possible.
- The camera advertises that it can shoot 24p and 60p. Search the fine print and you'll see that it can't shoot progressively in stereo, only interlaced. This kindof destroys my purposes with the camera, unfortunately.
I'm still deciding if I want to return it. It's really fun to shoot, and I'm planning to get a 3d tv so I can review footage at home. But it's an expensive device if you're not 100% supported in your purposes... Wondering if a TD30V will come out, and if so, they will address these concerns? I hope so, because home 3d filmmaking offers huge opportunities.
Overall, I think this is a very nice camera - a little on the pricey side for your typical consumer, but if you need to have a lot of the whistles and bells of a video camera you may want to consider this one. I've waited a while to write this review, but now have used this for about a month and have tried out most of the features. As my basis / background / comparison in reviewing the camera, I also own the Sony HDR-CX160 camera.
The picture quality to me is crystal clear and transferred over to my computer for ripping to a DVD without any issues at all. Colors, shapes, everything is crisp and in nice detail.
Using the 3-D capabilities of the camera, it is fairly effective for up close and personal recording, but forget it at a distance. I hooked up a recorded 3D video I had made to my TV (also 3d capable) and, without glasses, you did get a minor 3D effect. Wearing a pair of 3D glasses it was a bit more pronounced. I don't watch much 3D, and for my purposes I'm not sure how much of that feature I will use in the future. The cool thing was hooking it up to my TV via an HDMI cable vs. alternate means and running the video directly from the camera. Kids really like that, also (3D or not), especially as they relive the birthday party that happened just a few hours previous on the same day.
The camera comes with 64 gig is more than sufficient for my purposes - after filming two birthday parties, a piano recital, and two other events I wasn't anywhere near to filling it up before I was transferring video off of the unit.
I have not purchased an upgraded / higher capacity battery, as I haven't really pushed the battery that was standard. I went three hours of recording and did not get a low battery warning before I put it back on the charger before I went to bed. Three hours is more than enough for my purposes, and with the USB-compatible charger included with the unit, for this camera I will be able to plug it into my USB-compatible cigarette adapter or the 101 other USB charging bases I seem to have everywhere.
I like the tracking feature category as I was filming a person talking and another walking around, and it does keep that spot focused in if they maintain a "normal" speed; with running children it's not perfect but a lot better than not having it at all.
The unit's size is about 50% bigger than the HDR-CX160, primarily due to the second lens for the 3D option. I think that is great as I have larger hands, and I always thought the CX160 was too small.
The unit also comes with a built-in GPS receiver and the ability to tag your location of filming. Besides trying this feature out to see if it works, I don't know when I'll ever need this feature with my types of recordings. However, if you travel a lot, it may help jog your memory some years down the road of just where exactly a specific recording was made.
Overall, this is an outstanding camera but maybe a little bit of to many whistles and bells for the average person wanting a camera to record birthday parties. However, if you are looking for crisp shots and need that something extra, I'd highly recommend this one.
Update 10/2013: I just returned from Europe where I used the TD20 as my primary still photo camera- 1000s of photos. The quality of the detail and brilliant color on both my computer monitor and when I had many of them developed was superb. I couldn't be happier. The video at night was very good, a few situations where it was grainy. By using my left hand to support the LCD and my thumb to touch the "photo" button on the screen, I got outstanding regular and close-ups in palaces, castles, cityscapes, and museums.
When panning (especially if you are using any zoom) exaggerate the slow motion for the finest details to show without blurring. Even in interior rooms you will get distinct video without using the light. In low light or when using any zoom, pause for a few seconds to let the camera adjust its focus before you begin your real filming. Text is extremely clear even when situated within a display case.
I filmed from about 1' away through a glass panel at a miniature model (2' high x 12' long) of city buildings on a street about 15" beyond. The buildings were store fronts, apartment houses, and restaurants with windows that showed miniature furniture, dinnerware, and merchandise within the rooms. These items inside the rooms came out stunningly distinct. I used a slight amount of zoom and the camera picked up items my eyes did not see.
I was in the middle of a room with a picture window looking out toward the nearby tree packed slopes and there was no blurring because the camera focus was on the distance, not the window. In the past this has been a problem that other camcorders had.
I am so pleased with the still photos that I took under all conditions, that I have decided to retire my expensive Pentax camera.
This is not a professional grade camera but its at the top of the amateur level. Excellent features that auto-adjust or you can tweak manually for those out-of-the-ordinary situations. The built-in memory cameras haven't stored the amount of video I was doing in one day. This camera addresses everything I could want. I have used generations of Panasonic camcorders with great success. Kudos to Sony for getting this one right!!!
Storage: the 64 gig internal will hold about 5-8 hours of stop/start 2D video and I can use the 32 gig SanDisk memory for when I can't off-load the video to my computer. (Sony's recording time is unrealistic)
Low light: I tested in unlit areas and areas in deep shadows. The result was slightly colorized pixelation which showed at 1920x1080. Using the flash or spotlight produced very distinct images. And I really liked that you can vary the light brightness.
Zoom toggle: very touchy and fast but you can learn to have a light touch.
GPS and Date stamping in the background: great for those using Aperture, iPhoto, iMovie or some other archiving program for quick sorting. This is not shown on the screen or when playing the movie or photo.
Back Light: the auto feature will save editing time when panning suddenly reaches a overly bright background.
Anti-shake: worked great while walking and filming at the same time. This has always required extra equipment in the past. It splits the all-or-nothing choices.
Touch screen LCD and Menu: sharp, and surprisingly good 3D. The warnings about watching 3D are realistic. I was very pleased to see all user friendly icons, menus, and menu items that allow quick and easy adjustments. This was the best layout I have ever seen without too much clutter.
Direct to iPad: used the Apple Connection Kit and just waited for the photos/video to appear on the iPad.
Direct to Mac Pro: use Image Capture which automatically launches when USB is connected. It was an easy import to Final Cut Pro 7 and 10. It looked awesome at 1920x1080 and even better at 1600x900 on my monitor.
Direct to TV: you can use ANY TV with 3 jacks through the A/V cable. You do not have to use the AC Adapter for power if you are not transferring a large movie and have battery power.
Location of control buttons: excellent and intuitive
Use either hand: the traditional right hand through the strap with the record/stop on the camera back and the zoom and photo buttons on top OR use your left hand and select the same functions on the touch screen. Now you are assured of holding the camera more steady while enjoying easier access to controls.
Personal comment: 3D is an expensive domain that has more verbal WOW than practicality. Its use is in filming someone or something with a little additional closeup impression. For those who have to have the latest, this will be a "gotta-have". For the average person, this camera will record a good enough 2D that depth of field will make you see it as almost 3D. I was impressed.
on January 6, 2013
I primarily use this product for entertainment and to film my kids and family trips. I was blown away by the quality of the image and the 3d effect I saw on my Samsung 3d tv. Strongly recommend this product!!!!!
on January 2, 2013
Product shipped defective screen. Every day I lose more pixels on the screen.
Few functions, not take a photo in 3D.
Very good quality images, even at night.
Very slow to acquire GPS location.
Camera too expensive for the limited resources.
I will be writing this review in segments as I become more acquainted with the Sony HDR-TD20V HD Handycam. I have used it about 8 times recording various activities outside in bright sunlight, on cloudy overcast days, inside in regular and low lighting. Overall, the playback on the handycam itself is quite remarkable in clarity. Even the regular 2D has a 3D quality to it, as if you could reach into the picture.
I still need to record myself or a student playing classical guitar and see how good the sound quality of the recording is. This is very important to me as I hope to use this camera to record myself and my students playing various pieces on the classical guitar and possibly upload to You-Tube.
I tried to connect the camera to my HDTV to see the quality of the previously recorded videos. I carefully followed the instructions given in the included booklet, but kept getting a terrible squealing feedback from my Toshiba HDTV. I searched through the manual to see what was causing the problem but could not find the answer. I may have to call Sony for technical assistance.
I don't have a 3DTV so I am unable to review that aspect of this handycam, except for what I see on the flip-out screen.
After receiving this handycam, I read the user's manual completely and studied all the different switches, buttons, etc...to become familiar with them. This aspect of the camera is easy and very straight forward. The touchscreen is very intuitive and easy to navigate. Setting the date and time was very easy, and going through the menu selections is very easy.
I also like the style of this handycam. We have an older Sony video Hi8 bought back in 2003 which physically looks very much like the Sony HDR-TD20V but larger and obviously not nearly as advanced, but the similarity was nice in that I had an instant feeling of familiarity with the Sony HDR. The battery life appears to last for several days before needing recharging. I purposefully recorded my daughter's soccer game on Sat, then used it several times more during the week, and then took it to my mother's house on Mother's Day and it was still going strong. Recharging the battery is quite simple. I used the "Zoom" function often and was impressed that it kept it's focus so clearly at full zoom. I was able to to record some close-up action of the soccer game while I was on the other side of the field.
This handycam isn't something that I can use a few times and write an accurate review. I will have to spend more time with it and do the above mentioned things before I can totally finish this review. I am going out today to buy a longer HDMI cord so that I can place the handycam on the floor in front of the TV so I can use the remote control that came with the handycam and (hopefully) watch the videos on my HDTV. The HDMI cord that came with it is only about 2 feet long and too short to be any practical use. This feedback issue bothers me and I need to get it resolved right away. Also, I am anxious to see if what I thought was very unfocused recording actually happened or not. I noticed that on one recording session, the instant image became very blurry and as I held the camera very still it remained blurry for a few seconds before focusing.
The look and feel of this camera is beautiful! Easy to carry and use, sleek, black and silver, solid in feel and seems very well made. If you look over the manual that came with it, you will see where everything is and how to use them. I am not very tech savvy, but so far none of the controls have presented any problems. I have turned off the GPS tagging function because I don't feel comfortable having that information available on any videos I might choose to upload to various social sites. I don't see any advantage in having the GPS function. Also, I really need to test the stability function more. I get queasy almost immediately when trying to watch video that jumps around too much. I kind of got a little icky while watching playback of video I already shot.
I WILL update this review, that is a promise. I felt I should at least write about what I have experienced with this handycam so far. My personal "acid test" of this handycam will be it's sound quality. I want to record classical guitar and play it back through my Bose Soundbar to know for sure what it can do as far as sound. If I get great HD video and awesome sound I will probably give this handycam 5 stars.
I recorded a play (in a darkened theater) that one of my kids was in and I was totally blown away by the visual quality of the playback on our HDTV. The camera self-adjusted very well for the darkened conditions and I could clearly see all of the actors as if I were sitting in the audience again. I bought an excellent HDMI extension cord from Amazon for around 3 bucks (Radio Shack wanted over $30.00 dollars for about the same quality of cord!) and I could easily hold and operate the camera at a comfortable distance from the TV(approx. 10 ft.) The sound quality was quite good (through Bose Soundbar) for being recorded from a distance of at least 50 feet away and trying to pick up the shy voices of small children. This camera keeps getting better and better, but more updates will follow.
on November 30, 2013
Clear 3D movies . I love it . I will recommend it to my friends . Take a sharp image too .